Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Broken Panes Quilt Along

I had an epic Blog fail last week!

Knowing that my schedule would be crazy, I wrote up a couple posts about the first few weeks of the Broken Panes Quilt Along. I did that, got busy and didn't look at the blog until today. Imagine my surprise when I didn't see my posts. 😲 I quickly went to my info page and realized that I forgot to actually schedule the posts!  I simply saved them as drafts instead of scheduling them.

The good news is that I can resolve that issue by simply combining the two and provide a single post for the first two weeks. (I've also gone back and made sure that all of my other posts are scheduled and not just saved.  😁)

Let's start from the Beginning...

Jen over at PBJ is hosting a Quilt Along for her Broken Panes pattern.  

I knew as soon as I saw the pattern that I wanted to join the Quilt Along, so I pulled these fabrics. 

Week One (last week) was all about cutting...

Check out Jen's post HERE

I have learned over the past few years that I often get distracted while cutting, which can result in some disastrous mistakes. To avoid that from happening, I now make a point of getting everything organized, label my fabrics, mark up my pattern to show what I need to cut, and finally mark it off when I actually cut it. It has really helped me make fewer mistakes and stay on track.

I tape snippets of fabric onto the pattern so there is no confusion as to which fabric is being used... (Obviously, I don't cover up everything like I did in this photo. I just did this to show the fabrics and cover the cut sizes. )

The pattern included instructions for four sizes so I've circled (in pencil) the size that I am making. That really helps me avoid mistakes!

Here's my nice, neat pile of cut fabrics. 

I'm ready to get sewing!

Week Two - Sewing Strips and Sub-Cutting 

See Jen's post HERE

Now that everything is cut, I've cleaned and oiled my sewing machine and I'm ready to start sewing the strip sets.

Sewing strip sets is really a time saver, especially is you follow a few simple "rules."

1) Don't stress about thread! Choose a neutral thread color so that you don't have to worry about matching thread to each fabric, which would require a bunch of thread changes. I often tell my students that if you see thread on the front side of your sewing, it's generally not a thread-choice problem, but rather a pressing problem or stitch length problem. Here are my favorite and most-often used piecing threads.

These are So Fine!, by Superior Threads. Can you see the colors in the first picture? It really isn't so much about color as it is light and darkness. All three of these blend well with most of my fabric choices.

2) Sew at a moderate speed (not super fast), to ensure that the edges of the strip sets match up properly and that you are actually sewing with an accurate and consistent 1/4" seam allowance.

3) Chain piece when possible. This really speeds up the process and saves thread. Click here for a more detailed explanation on chain piecing. 

All the strips sets are sewn,  

cut apart,

and ready to press!

4) Take care when pressing to avoid creating a strip that "bows" or curves. I set my seams by simply laying the iron on top of the seam before opening it to press. (Be sure to read the pattern instructions so you know which way to press the seams!)

Fold back the seam, finger press, and then press (not iron) the seam, making sure to not stretch or distort the fabrics. (I forgot to get a picture of the actual pressing. This is just the seam folded back and finger pressed.)

Here's my seam - front and back

It's time to start sub-cutting those strip sets.

5) Trim off the selvage to clean up the edge and have a nice straight place to start cutting. (Be sure to get not only the printed selvage, but also any holes that might be on the edges. Since those can be tricky to see, look at both the front and back of the fabric to be sure to catch them and remove them.)

6) Use both the vertical and horizontal lines on your ruler to be sure that you are accurately sub-cutting the strip sets.

Lining up a horizontal line on the ruler with the sewn seam as well as the vertical edge will result in beautifully cut pieces.  

Don't rush this part! Taking time to accurately sew strip sets and cut them is going to make your life and sewing experience so much easier and fun. 

I've got everything cut and ready to sew...I'll see you on the 25th when we start sewing the blocks together. 


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Broken Panes QAL

I'm thrilled to be joining Jen over at Patterns by Jen for the Broken Panes Quilt Along.

When I first saw a picture of this quilt, I knew that I wanted to make it. There's something just really fun about this quilt!

I was really happy when Jen put out a request for a few bloggers to participate in the QAL and she picked me to be one of them. Yay!!

Here's the schedule Jen has put together for us:


May 14th - Fabric Prep
May 21st - Needles and Rotary Cutters
May 28th - Bobbins and Thread June 4th - Cutting
June 11 - Sewing strips and sub - cutting
June 18 - Sewing week
June 25 - Sewing blocks together
July 2nd - Piecing top
July 9 - Quilting prep
July 16 - Sewing/basting week
July 23 - Quilting
July 30 - Finishing touches
August 13 - Some sort of quilt link up or something to show the finished tops (either fully pieced or fully quilted)


I'll be making the 57" x 82" version, and here are the fabrics I've chosen.

Yep! I'm making a patriotic version. I plan to use this as a Quilt of Valor project and am sure that it'll look great. My fabrics are shown from left to right in the order that they appear in the fabric requirements on the pattern. I've swapped the blue star fabric for the red, the gold stars for the orange, the white swirl for the green, dark blue for the blue, and the red for the teal. 

There's still time to join the fun.

Go to Jen's blog to find out where to get the pattern and check out the information she has provided on choosing and prepping your fabric. 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Productive Classes/Workshops

I love it when workshops or classes that I teach are productive!

Check out the awesomeness that I had the pleasure to be around recently.

We all had a fun time helping Teresa pick fabric for her first quilt, Rainbow Star

More Rainbow Star Quilts - they are all so pretty and so different!

Shelly's balck background is stunning!

One Block Wonder - love this layout!

Another One Block Wonder Layout option

Kay's One Block Wonder made from a panel.

More One Block Wonder Blocks, but this time the hexagon blocks are going to be mixed with some triangles. 

Jill is looking at her triangle fabric options

Love this scrappy quilt!

Kathy is making lots of heart blocks! Check out the picture later in the post of her partial quilt layout.

Diane is getting some quilting done.

Catherine is working on a new Simply a Pleasure table runner.

Teresa is concentrating on her point pinning.  :-)

Denise is adding the binding to a beautiful baby quilt.

Donna embroidered a cover for her food processor. She's got a new machine and learning it quite well.

Denise finished her binding and is making two little pouches. 

Kathy is using my Girl's Best Friend quilt as a design wall. She's got all the heart blocks done and sewing rows together. They look awesome and they all match up beautifully. Yay for accurate 1/4" seam allowances.  :-)

Donna finished her cover and it looks great!

Another awesome Rainbow Star quilt, made from batiks.

I think Teresa did a great job on her first quilt, don't you?

I love seeing all this creative productivity! I am blessed to be able to share this with so many people. 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Design Wall Monday

It appears that I am in the "one post a week" mode lately. I guess that's ok, since my sewing time has really been limited recently. 

I finished this quilt from last week...

I added two more rows, so it measures approximately 56" x 69" now and I'm happy with that. 

Where's the picture, you ask? It has not been taken, of course. I took it off the design wall and had intentions of taking it outside for pictures but it was sprinkling a little so I set it aside. Life happened, and no picture was taken. That will be done later this week (I hope!).

Why didn't I just put it back on the wall to take a picture?  

While I was sewing this quilt and the one before it, I was making Quilt of Valor Log Cabin blocks as a leader/ender project. As I completed the blocks, I was putting them up on the wall to play around with the layout. 

Here's what I decided...

I have the final five blocks complete now, but they need pressed before I can put them up on the wall. We have a few appointments today and then I've got to finish prepping for some upcoming classes and trips, so I'm not sure when I'll get back to this. It's so close and shouldn't take long to finish when I get a chance to sew.

I'm happy to have this quilt top almost done. I'm behind on the number of QOV's that I make each year, and it feels good to be catching up with them. I've got another one cut and ready to use as a leader/ender project, so that should help be get back on track. I need to take a look to see what I have so I can get backing fabrics ready. Once that's done, I just need to quilt them. Easy, peasy, right? :-)   

What are you working on today?

Check out the Quilter's Eye Candy at


Monday, April 22, 2019

Design Wall Monday

I made my border decision on the quilt from the last post, but I only have a picture of one corner. I really like this and want to wait to show the whole quilt when it is completely finished.  :-)

I only used 20 of the 42 - 10" squares in pack so I decided to make another quilt instead of putting them aside. Here's the beginning of that quilt.

I like the simplicity of this quilt and will have to think seriously about doing some special quilting inside those big blocks. 

I have a program coming up about using layer cakes, or whatever you want to call the pre-cut 10" squares. I already have a bunch of quilts to show, but I'm thrilled to add these to the pile.  :-)

What are you working on today?
Check out the Quilters' Eye Candy at


Monday, April 15, 2019

Design Wall Monday

I finished the top that I showed in my last post. Unfortunately I don't have a good picture to share, but I'll try to get a good one in the next couple of days and post it. The quilt finished 60" x 80" so it will be used as a Quilt of Valor.

I do have something else on the design wall though...

I've been playing around with some 10" squares and wanted to do something quick and easy. I snowballed 20 - 10" squares on two sides and then put them together in a random order. I added a small border from the same snowball fabric and will start playing around with border options in the next couple of days. 

I have 40 - 3 1/2" half square triangles that were leftovers from snowballing the blocks and I think I'm going to piece a couple of borders using them.  

What are you working on today?

Check out the eye candy at


Friday, April 12, 2019

Sew to Regroup

I have been crazy busy the last few weeks and today was no different. After I helped get Nikki and Zach's kids to school today, I came home and started working right away. My mind was racing and I couldn't concentrate on one thing at a time so I knew that I needed to step away and regroup.

What better way to do that than sew?

I threw this up on the design wall Tuesday night, knowing that I wouldn't have an opportunity to work on it for at least a week. I really just wanted to see if my fabrics would play together nicely, and I think they do. 

This quilt is the center of the Labyrinth Quilt by Debbie Maddy. 


My friend Eillen wants to use a variation of this pattern for a Quilt of Valor and I told her that I'd help adjust the pattern. On Monday, we pulled some fabric, made some changes, and decided what we needed. I wanted to review my math and sketches so I decided to use real fabric to do that. I think everything will work and I look forward to completing this quilt.  

I'm going to sew a couple of rows together right now and then head back to work. That should settle me down a bit and get me back on track.